OPE!

The ranch dressing of music blogs by Brady Gerber.

Beyoncé online (imagine if she was on Bandcamp).

Rating: 1 out of 4.

Beyoncé’s worst song in years and, as my friend Sam correctly points out, will be the song that finally wins her the Album of the Year Grammy. “Texas Hold ‘Em” feels like seven different songs competing against each other; I’ll now have to listen to this expensive mash potato of Anthropologie vibes in every gym and coffee shop for the rest of 2024. There’s no way the dive bar she’s singing about is not in Tribeca full of B-tier Raya losers. Have yelps ever sounded so boring? The one star is for Rhiannon Giddens. Not necessarily for Giddens’s banjo performance (it’s fine) but because more people will learn about who she is. Because Beyoncé records now feel like homework. Of course, she’s earned the right to be a musical archivist (she’s from Houston), as Nadine Smith describes in her Pitchfork track review, the same review that compares “Texas Hold ‘Em” to Lumineers car-commercial music. Also like Eli Schoop’s No Bells criticism of Renaissance, “Texas Hold ‘Em” continues Beyoncé’s trend of retelling history with the insight of an Instagram caption. She’s not wrong, but this could have been a more compelling email.

-Brady Gerber

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